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Medical Treatment of Hair Loss

July 13th, 2006

Q: I am currently taking Propecia 1mg a day for hair loss and heard that Proscar 5mg now comes in a generic form. If I get that, how should I take it? — G.A., Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: If you are currently taking Propecia 1mg a day, and want to switch to Proscar (Finasteride 5mg), you can either take Proscar 5mg, 1/4 pill every day or 1/2 pill every other day.

If you break up the pills, be mindful of the potential risk to pregnant women from handling crushed tablets. You can purchase a pill cutter in any pharmacy.

You should be aware that this dosing is not recommended by Merck and that there are no studies showing that either breaking up the pills or taking alternate day dosing is as effective as taking Propecia (Finasteride 1mg) a day.

That said, finasteride lasts in tissues for several days, so these alternate day dosing schedules seem reasonable.

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